Sophie Ward is an ex-model and older sister to Gemma Ward who has truly come into her own sense of self through the healing medium of writing, journalling, travel and self-inquiry. During her international career as a model Sophie suffered from an eating disorder where every second thought was about food to now being an empowered strong woman who chooses love over fear in every moment. Sophie is fiercely vegan and an enthusiastic plant-based lover, her days in the kitchen are spent brewing kombuchas, preparing krauts and re-imagining an old meat dinner favourite into a plant-based taste sensation. Sophie is a wonderfully imaginative blogger and accomplished writer who published her book ‘The Beginning of an Inexplicable Journey’ at the tender age of 19. I was delighted to discover she has hosted a dozen Salon transformational themed dinners in NY and LA with enlightening topics, hosts and inspirations together with her partner Isaac. More recently, Sophie has become a joyful mother to her first born boy Julius.
Sophie has been in a manner of speaking ‘grounded’ by mother nature and gifted a sense of natural wisdom about how to lead all aspects of her life. Her sisters quote on her book sums her world up perfectly – “She writes like the universe is watching itself.” – Gemma Ward
This is Sophie’s natural law…
Originally hailing from Perth Australia, how contrasting is it to live an American life in LA/NYC?
So different! I only realize the stark contrast after coming back to Australia after months and months away. It’s been great being here (in Perth) again with my son. I grew up by the ocean and with dirt on my knees, so I’m intent on giving Julius some of that too. I adore NYC – it’s a phenomenal city full of possibility and wild sights, so much life and kinetic energy… but LA is a different animal, and one that I’m not so sure about. We are planning on moving to Ojai soon, just north of LA. Smaller community living in tune with the land. Much more my vibe.
Tell us about the inspirational Salon dinners you host with your partner Isaac, what is on the menu literally and topically?
Oh thank you, the Salon dinners are truly inspirational to me! We’ve seen so many of our guests completely light up during the course of the evening. People love being heard and having an opportunity to share their thoughts in a safe setting. I am so inspired by what happens. We’ve had twelve dinners since we began two years ago, and the themes have included Evolution, Story, Catalyst, Purpose, Manifest, Inheritance, Paradise, and more. Each table has a different host who has chosen a topic that relates to the theme, for example Imagination at the Story Salon, or Inner Peace at the Paradise Salon. The menu is designed by the restaurants we work with – our favorite chef to work with has been Spoon Singh at The Larchmont in LA, who created a beautiful four course meal with big bowls of organic local veggies to share. We did do a fully vegetarian Indian feast for the Paradise Salon, which we catered ourselves! A bit messy, but worth it.
How has being a plant-based lover changed your world for you and your immediate family?
It has changed so much. I am so inspired by cooking now. I was quite bored before. My world has opened up, and I’m very passionate about making my own sourdough bread, oat milk, raw vegan chocolate (in so many variations!), sauerkraut and kombucha. I just discovered ‘oatgurt’ which is pretty rad. I love that when I feel like eating something traditionally meat based, I can recreate it with 100% plants and it seems to always taste better. Maybe my taste buds have woken up. Case in point: vegan shepherds pie and chocolate peanut butter cups rocked my world more than any standard version ever did. Although I do miss croissants…
What does a typical day of food preparation look like for you?
I make a lot of things in advance so that I have them on hand. Every morning I have homemade granola made with buckwheat groats, oats, coconut, maple syrup and various superfood powders (maca, mesquite powder, cinnamon.) I douse that in oat milk, berries or banana, and top with either chia seed coconut pudding or chia cinnamon oatgurt! Having a baby changes the length of time I can spend doing any one thing, so I tend to get in quick while he naps and make something chocolatey as a treat, brew some kombucha, prepare some sauerkraut, or start dinner, which often involves roasted root veggies. I love making vegan coriander pesto too, so versatile and detoxifying.
Albert Einstein said “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” how do you interpret this quote in accordance to how you live and see the world?
As soon as I began to spend more time out in nature and less time with my face buried in fashion magazines (or inside my head) everything shifted. I started to understand the natural law of life itself, and felt humbled, dwarfed, embraced, and at one with the cosmic energies. Earth is my truest mother, my family lives here amongst us all, the plants and the animals are our sisters and brothers and relatives. Once I understood this, it became very clear to me what actions to take. I think so many of us are divorced from the natural world that we don’t realise how unnatural our existence is. Still, I don’t feel like I spend nearly ‘enough’ time in nature as I’d like to.
Any healthy tips can you share that are embedded into your daily rituals?
Every morning I squeeze some lemon in some warm water and take it to a carpet or dry grassy spot somewhere. Then I do a sequence of deep yoga stretches to work out all the kinks and tension that has expressed itself over night in my body. I think our sleep is so powerful as a healing and processing tool. It makes sense to me to off-load that build up before starting my day. If I don’t do these stretches I feel considerably off center as my day goes along. It only takes me about 30 – 45 minutes, and the longer the better! Before my son Julius arrived, I would meditate and do some gratitude prayers at the end – now I’ve had to cut that part out, until further notice. (I tend to incorporate these elements into my waking day anyway. We must still chop wood and carry water.) No matter what else I do in terms of exercise, this simple morning grounding is enough to get the chi moving and to ground me in my body. I’m a big fan of the afternoon nap, too. It’s so cosy cuddling up with a baby, recharging together.
As a respected writer and blogger of life and the universe how is that writing the ‘The Beginning of an Inexplicable Journey’ come into being?
Thank you for your kind words. I was very young when Inexplicable came into my life as a possibility. I was about 19 and had been published in Vogue Australia. An independent publisher in Sydney contacted me and said he wanted to put together a book of my writing. He gave me full creative reign and no time limit, though he kept encouraging me, which was priceless. Without his belief in me and my writing, I don’t know where I’d be. I was so young that I didn’t feel I was ‘qualified’ to write a book, so instead I put together all of my favorite pieces of writing from battered journals I’d kept whilst traveling the world as a model, trying to find myself and my center I suppose. I wrote, edited, designed, packaged and self-published the book myself. Pretty proud of that! For the 100 limited editions, I flew to Kentucky to get it hand bound at an old printing press by an eccentric Reverend. I will never forget that experience.
Photographer Sebastian Mader, Harpers Bazaar October 2011
Top 3 book recommendations?
- Be Here Now, by Ram Dass
- Henry Miller’s On Writing
- Mother’s Nature: Timeless Wisdom for the Journey into Motherhood by Andrea Alban Gosline
Vegan’s Daily Companion: 365 Days of Inspiration for Cooking, Eating, and Living Compassionately by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, and Edward the Emu (for Julius, almost every night, ha!)
Baraka – Blew my heart and mind open in ways no other film has. I was forever altered.
Personal Life Mantra?
“This, too, shall pass”.
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold up for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations”. – (George Bernard Shaw)
Most potent life message you can share with our tribe?
There are two choices to make in each moment, to be in love, or to be in fear. Choose wisely.
Where we can find you?
By Amanda Clegg
Integrated Health Coach